Josh Jacobs was a bit of a surprise pick when the Raiders selected him in the first round but it was clear from week 1 that he was a special player. Gruden and the staff must have known straight away what he was capable of because they kept him under wraps through the preseason and unleashed him on an unwitting Denver Broncos defense.
Jacobs quickly became the centerpiece of the Raiders offense and was the star in big wins against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions and topped 100 yards in five games. His rushing totals were the best by a Raiders running back since 2011 and were it not for a shoulder injury that cut his season short to 13 games, he would have put up even more impressive numbers.
All of these great performances and statistics were enough to see Jacobs named the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year and he was graded as the best rookie running back by PFF. His grade of 87.2 was just 1.4 points less than the highest graded RB overall, Cleveland’s Nick Chubb.